January 17, 2009


Aparajito (The Unvanquished) 1956

Year - 1956
Producer - Epic Films
Screenplay - Satyajit Ray
Based on - The novel Pather Panchali by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee
Photography - Subrata Mitra
Editor - Dulal Dutta
Art Director - Bansi Chandragupta
Music - Ravi Shankar
Sound - Durgadas Mitra
Length - 113 min.
Print - Black & White

Harihar - Kanu Bannerjee
Sarbajaya - Karuna Bannerjee
Young Apu - Pinaki Sengupta/Smaran Ghosal
Mrs. Lahiri - Santi Gupta
Bhabataran - Ramani Sengupta
Mrs. Nilmoni - Aparna Devi
Teli - Ranibala
Nirupama - Sudipta Roy
Printer - Kalicharan Roy
Professor - Hemanta Chatterjee
Moksada - Kamala Adhaikari

This film dramatizes the death of Apu's father and mother and Apu's own growth into manhood and independence. Set in 1920, the family is living in Benares, where the father reads the scriptures to an audience of widows. They live in a small house in the city. Afflicted with old age and illness, he dies while on the ghats of Benares. Sabajaya is left alone to fend for herself and Apu. She decides to return to live in the country and becomes a cook in a zamindar's house. She wants Apu to become a priest, but he wants to go to school. She makes sacrifices so that he might pursue his studies. Apu, having won a scholarship, departs for Calcutta, leaving her alone. When he returns to the country to see her, he is bored and can't wait to leave again. Sabajaya falls ill and Apu, delayed by his exams, arrives too late. He departs again for Calcutta, sad but free.

Ray said about this film: "I was not able to achieve more than 60 percent of what the script demanded... (one of the reasons) being a peculiarly technical one. A camera had just come... and it jammed frequently during the shooting in Benares. It became impossible to do more than one take of a scene... And then we had to rush through the editing stage... because the date of release was getting near. Another problem was that Ravi Shankar should have composed half as much music than he did. There are blank moments as a result. But I find the psychological aspect — the relationship between a growing Apu and his mother — very successful."
The original negative of this film was lost in a fire.

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